Southern amber nectar will be flowing after the Speights 1220 at Cromwell on Sunday, and Wingatui trainer Claire Anderton is hoping the connections of The Precious One will be the ones doing the toasting.
The Darci Brahma five-year-old finished unplaced in the Gr.3 Stewards Stakes Handicap (1200m) at Riccarton earlier this month and Anderton said she was pleased with her first-up performance.
“She went really well fresh-up against some seasoned horses, she acquitted herself very well,” Anderton said.
“She has come through the run really well. It took a little bit out of her, but she has bounced back and she is really well.”
Prior to her Stewards run, The Precious One had been given a lengthy spell after sustaining a paddock injury earlier in the year.
“She raced in Auckland in March and she suffered a paddock injury, she injured a hind fetlock, which she took a little bit of time to recover from,” Anderton said.
“We gave her plenty of time and just made sure she was 100 percent. She also did a month up at Kendayla Park (near Cambridge) on the water walker, building a bit of muscle back up.”
The Precious One will jump from barrier seven on Sunday with Jacob Lowry aboard and Anderton is hoping a gear addition will benefit her charge.
“We have got the blinkers on,” she said. “I think that will sharpen her up a wee bit.
“Jacob Lowry is on and we will just pop her out and ride her where she is comfortable and hopefully get home over the top of them.
“She does have gate speed, but I want to see her with a bit of cover. She can come from the back, there is only 10 in it.
“I am really happy with her and on paper you would expect her to be right in the finish.”
The daughter of dual Group One winner and Champion New Zealand Three-Year-Old of her year The Jewel, The Precious One has already assured herself a broodmare career with two stakes placings earlier in her career, but her connections are searching for that elusive stakes win in the near future.
“We just need to get another couple of wins under the belt and then see how she goes,” Anderton said. “I’ll see how she comes through the race and then I will have a talk with the owners.”
A record-breaking crowd is expected at Cromwell’s annual thoroughbred meeting, with the popular picnic-style meeting attracting around 5000 people last year. – NZ Racing Desk